Attorneys General from Ohio and Kentucky joined West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in Huntington Thursday to discuss the opioid crisis plaguing all three states.
Attorneys General Mike DeWine, of Ohio, and Andy Beshear, of Kentucky, joined Morrisey at the New Life Church in Huntington. It’s one of a series of meetings being held to increase cross-border cooperation in finding solutions to problems stemming from the opioid epidemic. Beshear said the epidemic has touched everyone.
"These drug dealers don’t recognize state or county lines," Beshear said. "We believe that the same bad batch of fentanyl that caused huge numbers of overdoses here in Huntington, in Mount Sterling, Kentucky and in Cincinnati, Ohio, so we have to be able to work together."
Huntington is considered the epicenter for substance abuse in West Virginia. On one day alone in August, 28 people overdosed on heroin in Huntington. Just a few weeks later, 24 overdoses were reported in one day in Louisville, Kentucky.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he realized that the states didn’t work well enough together to fight the epidemic.
"There was a fundamental lack of collaboration across federal, state and local governments and within the communities," Morrisey said. "And simply by communicating with one another on a regular basis, having these conferences and then following up after these conferences, that’s how you begin to change the problem within specific towns."
Last year, more than 900 drug-related overdoses were reported in Cabell County, West Virginia, alone -- including 70 deaths.